Ex-mobile phone industry executive gets five years for text message scam


NEW YORK (Reuters) – A former mobile phone industry executive was sentenced to five years in prison on Friday after he was found guilty of defrauding cellphone customers by charging them millions of dollars for unwanted text messages.

Fraser Thompson, 36, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest in Manhattan, prosecutors announced. A lawyer for Thompson, a former senior vice president at text message marketing company Mobile Messenger, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Thompson was convicted of conspiracy, wire fraud, identity theft and money laundering in September, according to court filings.

Prosecutors said Thompson engaged in a scheme to sign up hundreds of thousands of cellphone customers for paid text messaging services without their consent. The customers were subsequently forced to pay more than $100 million for unsolicited text messages that included trivia, horoscopes and celebrity gossip, according to the prosecutors.

They said…

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